Helios Airways was founded in 1999 as the first private airline in the Republic of Cyprus . The company was headed by Georgios Mouskos, and Vice President was Kyriakos Christofidis.
Since 2001 the company has not only served charter flights, but also scheduled flights. From Paphos and Larnaka the destinations Aberdeen, Amsterdam, Basel, Belfast, Billund, Birmingham, Bristol, Budapest, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Copenhagen, Liverpool, London (Luton, Gatwick), Madrid, Milan, Manchester, Newcastle, Flights to Palma, Prague, Sofia, Warsaw and Zurich. The utilization of the machines was around 75%.
In March 2006 the tour operator Libra Holidays, owner of Helios Airways since 2004, confirmed that a new airline called AJet had been founded in January that would take over the flight operations of Helios Airways. In future only charter services would be offered. Helios would only exist in the Libra Group until the accident investigations were completed (see below), but would no longer offer any flight services.
In October 2006, the successor company AJet announced that flight operations would be completely suspended by the end of 2006.
The Helios Airways fleet consisted of the following types in August 2005:
- On Friday 19 August 2005 (five days after Flight 522) a Boeing 737 was diverted in the UK for safety reasons. The pilot reported problems with the landing flaps . As a result, the aircraft with 177 passengers on board was diverted to London's Stansted Airport. Originally the plane was supposed to land at Luton Airport. According to Helios, the passengers could leave the machine without any problems.